Sunday, January 4, 2009

2 Steps Forward = 1 Step Back?

I'm still not adding much to my word count but I'm happy with the work I did today.

I had this moment of clarity about my project. I want my story to loosely (v. v. loosely) mirror Wizard of Oz. So I'm sitting there thinking about how to finish out a scene and it hits me that in wizard everything starts out black and white -- Dorothy's world is gray and blah and what she wants more than anything is to get out of Kansas and get on to something exciting. Well, my character wants something exciting to happen too, and she kind of sees her life as gray and dull. Then I thought, girl, you should use some of that imagery. I went back through the early pages of my story and inserted descriptions that are gray, dreary, blah. My hero doesn't realize it but the only color in her life shows up whenever the guy she thinks she doesn't want arrives on the scene. And then I finally realized what my character needs -- she needs to appreciate what she has rather than always seeking out a fantasy. "If I ever go looking for my heart's desire again I won't look any further than my own backyard!"

I'm not usually a very deep writer so it feels a little weird (and a little wonderful) to have this kind of insight into my story at this point -- like maybe I've grown a little bit as a writer. That felt so good that (after I patted myself on the back a few times) I looked over the physical descriptions and mannerisms of the main characters. I was able to add bits here and there to make them seem like their counterparts in Oz. It was easy to put the 'scarecrow' character in rumpled mismatched clothes and give him a scruffy beard, to have the 'tin man' be a little stiff, and the 'lion' to act shy and reticent (that sounds better than cowardly, right?)

The coolest thing though is that I can see this playing out within the confines of my plot. My scarecrow knows the right things to do when they are important but he needs to figure out how to not act like a goofball around my hero every time (brains). My tinman seems uncaring but it's really because he has the biggest *heart* of all. And my lion will go from shrinking violet to full-on blue haired vixen -- and she just might find the *courage* to tell her best friend where to stuff it before it's all over.

So. Word count schmurd count. I'm thrilled and excited about this project again! Yay!


Marianne Arkins said...

Sounds amazing! And your thrill and excitment will lead to words, so I can't wait to watch it grow.


Dru said...

I think once you sit down, your word count will grow. I see your excitement in your notes. Have a good writing session today.

Melissa said...

Excitement is the most important thing! That's so great how you feel about the project!

Charity said...

Oh, I *love* this and I'm feeling it too. You're really onto something and I'm so excited!

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

That's fabulous, and it sounds like SO much fun! I love the parallels and I think it would work perfectly for a YA. This rocks!

Keri Mikulski said...

Wow! Amazing idea!